Talk about a bad boss! Earlier this year an audit of Dekalb County, Georgia elementary school Atherton Elementary revealed an unusually high number of eraser marks on the state’s standardized 5th grade CRCT math re-test. When further investigation revealed that the school’s principal, James Berry and assistant principal Doretha Alexander were behind the changes, both were arrested. State officials maintained that the higher scores helped the schools meet federal standards. The state said the scores improved significantly with the changes. On average, answers were altered 21 times per student, the majority of the changes making them correct.
Both administrators plead guilty to altering public documents and last week, DeKalb County District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming said that Berry will serve two years’ probation and pay a $1,000 fine. His sentence could have been as long as ten years. The state’s teacher licensing commission banned Berry from Georgia schools for two years. Alexander was banned for a year.
I don’t understand why the principal was only banned for two years. What do you have to do to get banned for life? Isn’t altering student test scores a good enough reason to get you banned from administrating at any public school for life? We’re sending the wrong message to the students here and we’re certainly not putting their well being first. Worse yet, other metro Atlanta schools are also being investigated including Deerwood Academy in Atlanta, and Parklane Elementary in Fulton County. Bad principles indeed. (Image – James Berry)